How To Start A Divorce
Filing for a divorce is a stressful and complicated process. There are confusing forms that must be filled out, court deadlines that must be met, and compromises that are sure to test your patience. Much of your time will be spent on deciding how to divide your property, and if you have kids, you will have to decide on how custody will work.
If you choose to get a divorce, the first thing you should do is plan ahead. Take time to think things through, and know what you want moving forward. Planning ahead can save you time, money, and anxiety. You will then want to file two forms with the court, assuming you are the one who wants to start the divorce, you need to file a petition. Form FL-100 is a petition to ask the court for the orders you wish to make. It asks for the basics of your marriage such as the date you were married and names of your children, if any. The form also asks you to identify any property you want to keep, along with any other requests you want to make to the court.
The next required form is FL-110. This form provides important information to you and your spouse about what can be done with the money and property you share together. It also prohibits you and your spouse from filing for a new or replacement passport for your children, and prevents the children from being moved out of state. If you have any children under the age of 18, you will need to complete some additional forms for them as well. Make sure you keep copies of all your forms in a safe and secure location.
Before the court can make any kind of order or judgment in your divorce, you must make your spouse aware that you have started the divorce process by serving them. To “serve” your spouse you will have to gather copies of the forms you filed in court and give them to your spouse. You cannot do this yourself, and must give this task to someone who is 18 years of age or older, and not involved in the divorce. A process server, county sheriff, or even a friend can complete the service, but it is a very important step and must be done correctly. The server must then complete a “Proof of Service” form which acknowledges when, where, and who the papers were served to. This Proof of Service must then be filed with the court. Your spouse will have 30 days after they were served to respond to the court. Additional actions will be needed if your spouse does not respond within 30 days.
After you have filed all of the required forms with the court, and have made your spouse aware of your intentions, you will now begin the next step in the divorce process known as “disclosure”. There is a group of forms that you and your spouse must fill out, stating what your income and expenses are, along with what you own and whatever debts you may have. This will help you divide your belongings and debts equally between each other. Be cautious of what items you leave off of this list, or you may never see them again. This is also the time you will make the financial decisions needed for child support, if necessary. You have 60 days after filing your petition to complete the disclosure.
What happens now depends on a few things. Did your spouse respond to your petition? Have the two of you reached an agreement? Regardless of what your answer is, you still have many more forms to fill out, a lot of questions to answer, and tough decisions to make. This is where most of the complications will arise. Luckily you will never have to go through it alone, or wonder if you are doing things right. The attorneys at Albut Law will listen to your needs and help you obtain your desired solution, making sure you receive the best representation you deserve.
We will help remove the stress from this difficult process. We will accurately complete the filing process for you, completing every form so that nothing goes to court unnoticed. Forgetting to include something in a form can drastically affect the outcome of your case. Do not let that happen to you, call us now for a free consultation!